HOUSTON – A man accused of luring young girls and women into a life of prostitution will spend the next 26 years behind bars.
Prosecutors said Malik Hayman coerced women through social media to come to Houston and would then put them on the streets.
“He was exploiting, beating, sex trafficking up to 10 different victims from the age of 14 and up, girls and women for the purpose of making money. So he wouldn’t need to worry about making his own money,” said Johna Stallings of the Harris County District Attorney’s Office Division Chief of Sex Crime and Human Trafficking.
Hayman was set to go to trial on Friday for the crimes prosecutors said he committed from May 2018 through September 2018. But instead, he pleaded guilty to the crimes.
His charges included human trafficking, compelling prostitution, and sexual performance of a child among others.
One of his victims, Asia Phipps, a dancer from Atlanta, shared her story with KPRC 2. She said Hayman first contacted her through Instagram selling a dream.
“He made it seem like you can come here and dance and that’s what I was under the assumption of,” Phipps said. “He was nice to me. I didn’t think anything of it.”
But, Phipps said it took no more than two days after she arrived in Houston on a Greyhound bus for her to learn Phipps was not selling a dream, but a nightmare.
“We ended up going to Bissonnet,” she said. “I was like, ‘What’s going on? I’m a dancer this isn’t what I do.’”
The Bissonnet Zone is a hot spot for prostitution in Houston.
At one point, Phipps said Hayman told her she had to make no less than $500 in one night.
“His whole attitude changed. His demeanor changed. He went from Mr. Nice Guy to this evil, conniving human being,” said Phipps.
Eventually, Phipps was able to escape and get away.
“I called my mom and I was like, ‘Mom I escaped what do I do? And she told me I need to call 911 and tell them that I’m a trafficking victim,’” Phipps said.
Phipps said she was able to get back home safely to Atlanta and is now in therapy.
Meanwhile, prosecutors said Hayman victimized at least nine other women.
“He was doing it through force and intimidation and threats and through violence, beating these girls,” said Stallings. “Some of the other victims of Hayman were out on Tidwell walking when they were as young as 14 years of age when they were engaged in prostitution.”
According to Stallings, the women were afraid to come forward.
“It’s hard to turn to law enforcement when you are told don’t go to them or I will hurt you,” said Stallings.
Eventually, a young girl came forward. With the plea agreement, the women don’t have to face Hayman.
Prosecutors said even if the victims were not comfortable coming forward in court, they were going to move forward with the case.
“We do develop circumstantial evidence if a victim is so afraid that she can’t testify that she is unable to testify. We are going to go forward and prosecute these traffickers,” said Stallings.
Stallings has a warning for other human traffickers.
“HPD the Sheriff’s Office, all the precincts, almost 70 law enforcement agencies, we are coming after you and so is the District Attorney’s Office,” she said.